Walk to School Day
October 5th was the 20 Year Anniversary of Walk to School Day. Verona residents were invited to walk and bicycle more to celebrate the event. The VEC sponsored a poster contest open to Verona Public School Students Grade K through 12. Students brought their posters to schools and all entries were displayed at the participating schools. Winners will receive $50 and an award certificate from Verona Mayor Kevin Ryan at the November 7 Award Ceremony at Town Hall beginning at 7 pm. Please show your support for a cleaner environment, healthier habits, and pedestrian and bicyclist safety in our community all year round. Younger children should always walk and bike with an adult. Work with your child to pick the route to school and practice walking and riding the route together. Choose streets with minimal traffic and lower speeds. For more walk and bike safety tips please visit the National Center for Safe Routes to School.
Verona’s Peckman River & Woods cleanup took place at the trail behind F. N. Brown Elementary School, located at 125 Grove Ave., on June 4. This event was organized by the VEC and it is part of the NJ Clean Communities Clean Water Challenge. Volunteers worked cleaning the river and woods, restoring the trails, and pulling out invasive plants. Volunteers removed lots of garbage, pulled out pipes, lamps, lead acid batteries, cans, bottles, plastic bags, Styrofoam cups, and tons of invasive Japanese knotweed! A big thank you to everyone who was able to help and donate your time and energy to keep Verona green. Here are some pictures. To participate in future events please contact us at VeronaEnvironmental@gmail.com
Verona Green FairVerona's 2nd Annual Green Fair, organized by Sustainable Verona, took place on May 22 in the Verona Civic Center Square. The VEC distributed free recycling bins and barrels to Verona residents. More than 65 vendors and organizations participated in this free event, including Live Music, Green Businesses, Book Sale, Food Drive, Rx Drug Drop-Off, Health & Nutrition Info, Solar Info, Gardening & Composting Demos, Clothing Drive, Volunteer Opportunities, & much more!
part of the New Jersey Tree Recovery Campaign. Seedlings included Red Oaks, Flowering Dogwoods and Douglas Fir trees. The commission worked with the municipal government and the DEP to distribute 150 free trees with planting instructions. The VEC also organized a cleanup with volunteers to keep the park and nature preserve safe for people and wildlife. Thank you all!
Tree Giveaway and Cleanup
Recycling curbside collection in Verona now includes all paper products, Chipboard (cereal, cake mix boxes, etc) and Corrugated Cardboard (shipping boxes, etc). Newspapers, junk mail and magazines no longer have to be put out separately. ALL paper products and flattened clean cardboard boxes can now be placed at the curb together on the designated days. Electronic waste is no longer accepted at the Recycling Depot on Commerce Court. Computers, TV's and other electronic waste is now accepted at the Department of Public Works (5 Ozone Ave.) on the following days: January 15 and 16, April 15 and 16, July 15 and 16, and October 14 and 15, 2016. Since 2009, it has been illegal to put TVs, computers or other e-waste at the curb in Verona, electronics contain many toxic components that can pollute land and water. For a complete list of accepted materials please visit our Recycling page. In order to stay up-to-date on collection days you can download the free Remyndr app on your smart phone at www.VeronaNJ.org/PublicWorks
Attention geocaching fans: the Verona EC cache "The Grove" is now live, you can get the GPS coordinates HERE - This is a real-world, free outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of coordinates and then attempt to find the hidden cache (container) at that location. If you take something from the cache, leave something of equal or greater value. Write about your find in the cache logbook. The Geocaching Logo is a registered trademark of Groundspeak, Inc. Used with permission. Happy geocaching!
Opportunity to Join the VEC
The Verona Environmental Commission (VEC) has an opening for a volunteer Alternate member on the Commission. All Verona residents interested in promoting environmental sustainability ("green practices") by the township government, residents and business are encouraged to apply. Interested parties shall have a commitment to the conservation, protection and improvement of Verona's natural resources. Individuals interested in serving on the Commission should submit a professional bio to the VEC Chairperson Gloria Machnowski at firstname.lastname@example.org. The VEC runs local environmental programs and makes recommendations to the Township Manager and Council, Planning Board and Board of Adjustment on best practices in environmental sustainability and other issues related to environmental conservation.
New Cardboard and E-Waste Procedures
Grove Park - 42 Grove Avenue
The VEC, Junior Woman’s Club of Verona and Verona Historical Society joined forces to create a nature preserve and historic park on the site of a 19th century community
gathering place. This was later the homestead of Dr. Henry B. Whitehorne, the namesake of Verona's middle school. The woods at 42 Grove are now home to many kinds of wildlife, including a family of foxes and wild turkeys. Vegetation includes a huge patch of skunk cabbage and jack-in-the-pulpits, native sycamore, black cherry, hickory, tulip poplar and red maple trees. The park's ribbon-cutting ceremony took place on November 21, 2015. You can watch the video here. The wooded lot was restored and a short, sustainable nature trail was created, park benches and signage with information about the history of the site were added.
Trees and plants will be added during the Spring of 2016. Open space provides many benefits to the community. In rapidly growing urban areas, any preserved land can offer relief from congestion. In the early 1800s this lot was the site of Personett’s Grove, a favorite meeting place for picnics, religious meetings and Fourth of July celebrations. Later Dr. Whitehorne built his home on the site. Whitehorne's home was destroyed by fire in the 1960s. The Weathon family owned the property until 1966. The township bought the 1.33 acre lot in 1975. The property has a significant historical value. Grove Ave. got its name from Personett's Grove. We appreciate the town's commitment to this preservation effort.
Volunteers Clean The Peckman!
The Verona Environmental Commission organized a community cleanup of the Peckman river and woods on April 11, 2015. The environmental clubs from Verona High School and Montclair University helped make the event a success.
About 50 people donated their time to take care of the woods adjacent to the Peckman River, helping to keep our waterways and trails safe and healthy for wildlife and for people. You can see several pictures of the event HERE. The group included a large number of students from Verona High School and Montclair University. The Peckman Trail entrance is located behind F. N. Brown School, at 125 Grove Ave. in Verona.
2015 Annual Report. The township encourages all residents to plant native trees, and reduce, reuse, recycle, and compost as much of their household waste as possible. The Verona Recycling Center, located at 10 Commerce Ct. is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays, from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm. Please read HERE the VEC statement about Zika Virus.
Remyndr Download the free app on Google Play or iTunes -enter your address to receive notifications about your recycling and garbage curbside collection schedule.
The VEC was established on August 3, 1992. All our members are Verona residents and serve without compensation. Our annual operating budget is $500. Please consider donating to the VEC by writing a check to the Township of Verona with "VEC Donation" in the memo line. Donations can be drop at Town Hall, or mailed to 600 Bloomfield Avenue, Verona, NJ 07044. Matt Laracy, Verona’s CFO, deposits the funds into the VEC trust fund. The Township is not a 501-c-3. We appreciate your support!
2016 Curbside Pick-Up Schedules
To know your curbside recycling pick-up designated days, please click below on the north side or south side (of Bloomfield Avenue) schedules:
Grove Park: Ribbon-cutting ceremony organized by the three sponsor groups, the Mayor and Council of Verona, November 21, 2015. Local historian Bob Williams gave an interesting talk on the park's history.
Poster Contest: 2 min. video of Verona students 2015 submissions to the VEC 'Sustainable Verona' poster contest.
Green Fair: 2 min. video of Verona's First Green Fair, May 30th, 2015 in the Civic Center. For a complete list of participants please visit Sustainable Verona
Alternative Fuel Education: We interviewed students that excel at converting cars to run on electric at the Verona Green Fair, May 30, 2015. The car was originally converted from gas to electric by Memorial High School students, in West New York, NJ. Their teacher, Ron Grosinger, showed the car at the fair with Mark Balzarette, an adjunct professor Bergen Community College and Kassem Alhussien, a former student from Memorial HS.
Kids Ride to the Peckman Trail: 3 minutes video made by Verona kids with helmet camera.
Go Idle Free Verona is a 2 minute video, entirely shot and edited by VEC members in Verona. The commission would like to especially thank the HBW Environmental Club and the kids from Verona for their participation and support. We invite you to watch it and learn how you can help to enhance Verona's air quality. An idling vehicle emits 20 times more pollution than one traveling at 30 miles per hour! NJ State Law prohibits idling more than three minutes for both diesel and gasoline non-emergency vehicles. Please Turn the Key -Be Idle Free!
Wastewater Treatment Facility: the commission produced this 8-minute video, please watch it to learn how you can help protect our waterways (click on the lower right corner icon for full screen).
Anti Idling Resolution
At the VEC encouragement, the Verona Town Council approved a Resolution adopting a strong Anti Idling policy in 2015. The resolution essentially reinforces existing NJ State Law which prohibits idling in your car or truck beyond 3 minutes while parked. It also encourages drivers to turn off their engines immediately, especially in schools, drive through windows, gas stations, parking lots, etc. Municipally-owned vehicles are also included in the anti-idling campaign. Emissions from gasoline and diesel powered vehicles contribute significantly to air pollution, including greenhouse gases, ozone formation, fine particulates, and a multitude of potentially harmful pollutants that can trigger various respiratory ailments such as asthma. Enforcing this resolution would significantly improve public health, air quality, reduce costs and greenhouse gas emissions.